It’s not that it’s not epic. It’s just that it’s epic in a really normal way, or really normal, and epic in a really abstract way.
I wake up. Barely. I go to work. I’m tired. I drink coffee. I read the news, check my email, abuse the privilege of facebook and other social media outlets. Sometimes I think about the world, and sometimes I think about how I just want to go back to sleep. I socialize, eat, sleep, stare at the sea.
Still, in some ways, just walking to work is “epic”. Yes, I am constantly afraid of being hit by a car because people here cannot drive under control. Yes, the first language I hear every morning is Arabic, and the second one Hebrew.
But after a while these things become normal, or normalized. It’s the same cars and the same Arabic every morning. If I want an epic, legendary experience, it’s fairly easy to find here, especially if I want that experience to be full of political undertones or ethnic xenophobia or other such heady nonsense. And of course, *new* and *exciting* places are closer than the horizon. But that’s the only difference. Their newness makes them exciting.
Jerusalem is closer to Haifa than Providence is to Portland, and somehow Jerusalem is more exciting than Providence. Unfamiliarity? Sense of the unknown? The ultimate adventure? Even the fabulousness of the new exciting discoveries awaiting me here lose some of their impending immediacy when I realize that I live here. It would be lovely to go out and explore and find the hidden secrets here as I can at home, but I simultaneously feel compelled to stay here, to live a normal life and not always be a tourist, even though I can never be a “local”. I suppose that is in some ways what I am looking for – to fit in, to blend in, to find a niche and acceptance and not always be overwhelmed by the impulse to move and travel and see and do.
There is a time and a place for epic adventures, but not every day, not all the time. Sometimes, it’s more important just to watch and listen to your immediate surroundings, to internalize them as much as possible, to really connect to a place – a point between axes – as deeply as possible. To root, then explore.
Title quote from Chris Murry.